Introducing Puppy And Dog

Animal Freak

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Hey, everyone. I know I should probably be posting on a dog forum, but people are nicer here.

Basically, the situation is I have a 4-5 year old, 15lb, female Chihuahua x Pom named Stella. She's what I call people-confident. She loves everyone, always happy to see people. But she wasn't properly socialized as a puppy and was/is afraid of bigger dogs. However, she's gotten a lot better and even got playful with a dog that was a little bit bigger than her the other day.

My dad has a five month old lab mix who needs to be socialized to other dogs. I go to my dad's every other weekend to visit and, after a lot of thought, ended up bringing Stella with me. The puppy needs socializing, Stella needs socializing, and it's a good chance to work with Stella in places outside of home and the neighborhood. We can work in a less familiar neighborhood and my dad likes to do thing and go places, so that way I can start bringing Stella to new places.

I didn't make this decision lightly and I didn't go in without plans though. Stella's been here before, so it isn't totally unfamiliar territory, but it's been a while and Max(puppy) has been here for a few months now. Stella can get aggressive in familiar territory, so it seemed like a good mix of familiar, but not too familiar. And, if it came down to it, they could be separated. The house has two floors and a basement and a good backyard though it is snowing. Fortunately, both dogs seem to enjoy the snow at least to an extent.

Today was their first day together and, honestly, it went better than I expected. Maybe not as well as I had hoped, but better than expected. We started by letting Max out back and Stella in to sniff around. Then let them see each other through the glass door and then cracked the door open. Eventually Max was put on collar and leash and let inside. Since then he's been off leash, but always wearing a harness so we can grab him. My dad, sister, and I all kept a close eye on them and did our best to keep Max from harassing Stella. Stella, all things considered, has done well. She doesn't like him in her space and has snapped and growled at him, but hasn't hurt him. Her hackles have never gone up which is usually the first sign of her feeling insecure and defensive.

However, she did start resource guarding some of his chews. My dad doesn't have a problem with her chewing on them (and is rather impressed by the damage caused in less than a day), but at this point I think that might be the biggest problem. I'm going to pick those toys up tomorrow so she can't guard them.

What I'm not sure about is how to manage Max wanting to be in her space. He really just wants to play and be close to her, but she isn't having any of it. It's actually sort of cute though because he'll sometimes settle down to chew on a toy a couple of feet from her, like he just wants to be near her. But I just need advice on how to handle them and what to do get Max to ignore her. If anyone has any advice then I'd be happy to hear it. And if I remember I'll post pictures of them tomorrow.
 

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Hi!
Thank you for the compliment :)!
Can you play with them together? Even inside?
What about purchasing some new toys that neither dog as touched?
 
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Animal Freak

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Thanks for the reply! We're working on getting them closer with training and the keying, but Stella playing gets Max too interested. Basically the only way to keep Max away from Stella is to keep Stella on a chair holding still and play with Max. Otherwise he just wants to be in her face.

I don't know about toys. We were just at the store yesterday and Max got a new toy. Stella just likes to chew and destroy toys.
 

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I think you're taking on quite a job, but good for you!

Hopefully some other members will have a chance to weigh in for you soon, and in the meantime I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe you'll end up with less snow and will be able to get them outside - that'll definitely help that lab puppy, to be able to work off some of his puppy-energy :)
 

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This all sounds very in the realm of normal. Older dogs are meant to tell puppies to get out of their faces so that they can teach the puppies how to be much more respectful. Its good for puppies as they grow into dogs.

Essentially there is nothing you should do to teach the puppy to leave the older dog alone. Stella is doing that herself.

As for the resource guarding, how extreme is it? Is she just trying to growl to keep him away from something she feels is "hers" or is it more of trying to actually attack him?

I work at a open dog boarding place where dog who've never met routinely hang out and a lot of it is just letting the dogs work things out and not constantly hovering or trying to prevent some of the natural process.
 
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Animal Freak

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I think you're taking on quite a job, but good for you!

Hopefully some other members will have a chance to weigh in for you soon, and in the meantime I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe you'll end up with less snow and will be able to get them outside - that'll definitely help that lab puppy, to be able to work off some of his puppy-energy :)
It is a lot to handle, especially when I end up on my own handling them. Stella tends to stick close to me, so trying to get any distance between them can be difficult.

I would love to get out. I'd like to take Stella out on her own as well to work with her and distract her, but she'd have to walk in snow the entire time.

We did have some good moments today. Max finally settled down and I was able to get Stellanext to him as long as I kept him laying down. Once he was too riled up, my dad and I were able to play with them in the same room near each other.

This all sounds very in the realm of normal. Older dogs are meant to tell puppies to get out of their faces so that they can teach the puppies how to be much more respectful. Its good for puppies as they grow into dogs.

Essentially there is nothing you should do to teach the puppy to leave the older dog alone. Stella is doing that herself.

As for the resource guarding, how extreme is it? Is she just trying to growl to keep him away from something she feels is "hers" or is it more of trying to actually attack him?

I work at a open dog boarding place where dog who've never met routinely hang out and a lot of it is just letting the dogs work things out and not constantly hovering or trying to prevent some of the natural process.
I kind of figured it was normal and had some expectations of something like this, but I guess I just realized I don'treally knows what the best methods are.

You think I should really leave them? I was worried about it being a bad experience for Stella because she has a history of being afraid of bigger dogs. I don't want to set our progress back. And Max seems to think she's playing. She hasn't hurt him yet, but I'd rather avoid that.

It's the most extreme I've ever seen from her. I can put my hand in her food bowl and take food out and she'll step back and watch. She's snapped at the cats before when they got too close to her food, but hasn't come close to making contact. She growls as Max if he gets within a foot or so of her and has gone after him for chewing toys she had walked away from.
 
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Animal Freak

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:vibes::hangin: hang in there!
I will. Honestly, it's not as bad as it could be. I probably wouldn't be worried at all if it wasn't because Stella used to be very scared of big dogs. Fortunately, this isn't permanent and won't last long. Unfortunately, I don't have much time to figure out if this is going to work or if I should just give up on bringing Stella.
 

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We have (and have had) dogs in the past that aren't dog oriented, but are people oriented. I don't worry about it anymore. If they are lunging aggressively or have a history of attacking/injuring other dogs, that's one thing. But if an adult dog prefers to politely ignore dogs they don't know and don't really want to know, I think that's perfectly fine.
I would let them work it out...a little. But a Chihuahua mix against a rapidly growing Lab pup isn't the best match for play sizes, and even if the puppy means only to play, a Lab puppy can easily injure a toy breed.
With dogs like Stella we don't worry about making them love every other dog they see. Having a dog that can be in public and ignore dogs is kind of nice, what's annoying to me is having a dog that loses their mind completely whenever another dog happens to walk across the sidewalk 600 yards away.
The guarding thing all depends, how does the pup react when she growls at him, how does she react when you try to take the bone away, does she act nervous when she's guarding? If she gives the pup a sharp snarl and the pup backs off, and you can take the bone away, I'd consider this fine. If the pup responds to her growl by barking in her face, dancing around 2 feet in front of her and pushing her to her limits, I feel it's the responsibility of the owner to put a stop to it and not allow another dog to push our dog to their meltdown point. (Think of it this way, if your 2nd grader comes home and is upset that he and his best friend had a playground argument, let them work that out. If your 2nd grader comes home and is upset because some 5th grader stole some of his stuff and pushed him down, skinning his knees, that you do NOT let them "just work it out". You step up and put a stop to it.)
 

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We have (and have had) dogs in the past that aren't dog oriented, but are people oriented. I don't worry about it anymore.
:yeah: Exactly! I remember attending a seminar where the dog trainer said it's not necessary for your dog to like every dog just like people don't like every person they meet.

For one, Stella is between 4-5 yrs. old and Max is a 5 mo. old puppy full of vim and vigor, i.e. big difference regardless of their size. Actually it sounds like they did quite well under the circumstances. I don't know how long they were together but perhaps you can start out with a small amount of play time and gradually build up to a longer period of time.

The second recommendation I have is for your dad or you to take Max on a nice long walk or play session before putting the two dogs together in the same room. That way Max can wear off some of his excess energy.

My third suggestion is to have them meet on neutral territory as opposed to your dad's house or your house. First impressions mean a lot when you introduce dogs for the first time. The other option would be for your dad and you to have them walk parallel, side by side with a fair distance between them. This way you can walk further apart or closer together depending on how they react.

Best of luck, it may take time but I think you're off to a good start. :goodluck:
 

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:yeah: Exactly! I remember attending a seminar where the dog trainer said it's not necessary for your dog to like every dog just like people don't like every person they meet.

For one, Stella is between 4-5 yrs. old and Max is a 5 mo. old puppy full of vim and vigor, i.e. big difference regardless of their size. Actually it sounds like they did quite well under the circumstances. I don't know how long they were together but perhaps you can start out with a small amount of play time and gradually build up to a longer period of time.

The second recommendation I have is for your dad or you to take Max on a nice long walk or play session before putting the two dogs together in the same room. That way Max can wear off some of his excess energy.

My third suggestion is to have them meet on neutral territory as opposed to your dad's house or your house. First impressions mean a lot when you introduce dogs for the first time. The other option would be for your dad and you to have them walk parallel, side by side with a fair distance between them. This way you can walk further apart or closer together depending on how they react.

Best of luck, it may take time but I think you're off to a good start. :goodluck:
It's just like our cats or anything else.
Young horses need to be exercised before being put in with adults because their energy will cause a rift. If someone drops their child off at your house for an hour or baby sitting after they've ran with their friends for 3 hours, that's usually good. If someone drops their child off at your house after they've been in school all day...oh boy :flail:
The way we feel about it, we don't feel that random people we meet randomly on the street are our "family" anymore than a dog (or cat) feels that some random animal that's hanging around them are suddenly their "pack". When I go into some store I don't immediately think other shoppers are my new family or new best friends. I shop, I ignore them (except for when I stupidly ram my cart into someone elses cart because I don't make a habit of paying attention to where I'm going :thumbsup:), but I don't leap all over them and jump around like a hyperactive dingbat and beg them to be my new best friend. People would find this really weird, and most adult dogs find this puppy behavior (leaping all over them, jumping around like hyperactive dingbats and begging this new strange dog to be their new best friend) equally weird.
This "pack" thing gets blown out of the water when people start assuming all dogs are their dogs pack and get upset when their dog says "nah bruh". Then, if by some miracle, the dog does a complete turn around and starts dragging you, knocking you over, and acting like a complete dork because they HAVE to see that "other dog" that's 2 miles away, it's yet another "behavior problem" that needs addressed.
 

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What is the goal exactly? These two are unlikely to ever be play buddies and the puppy needs more socialization than just spending time around one other dog. I don't suggest just leaving them alone, but staying in the room with them and not constantly hovering over them.
 
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Animal Freak

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We have (and have had) dogs in the past that aren't dog oriented, but are people oriented. I don't worry about it anymore. If they are lunging aggressively or have a history of attacking/injuring other dogs, that's one thing. But if an adult dog prefers to politely ignore dogs they don't know and don't really want to know, I think that's perfectly fine.
I would let them work it out...a little. But a Chihuahua mix against a rapidly growing Lab pup isn't the best match for play sizes, and even if the puppy means only to play, a Lab puppy can easily injure a toy breed.
With dogs like Stella we don't worry about making them love every other dog they see. Having a dog that can be in public and ignore dogs is kind of nice, what's annoying to me is having a dog that loses their mind completely whenever another dog happens to walk across the sidewalk 600 yards away.
The guarding thing all depends, how does the pup react when she growls at him, how does she react when you try to take the bone away, does she act nervous when she's guarding? If she gives the pup a sharp snarl and the pup backs off, and you can take the bone away, I'd consider this fine. If the pup responds to her growl by barking in her face, dancing around 2 feet in front of her and pushing her to her limits, I feel it's the responsibility of the owner to put a stop to it and not allow another dog to push our dog to their meltdown point. (Think of it this way, if your 2nd grader comes home and is upset that he and his best friend had a playground argument, let them work that out. If your 2nd grader comes home and is upset because some 5th grader stole some of his stuff and pushed him down, skinning his knees, that you do NOT let them "just work it out". You step up and put a stop to it.)
I'm totally fine with Stella being dog neutral. The problem is she isn't. She gets along great with small dogs, but still gets worked up over them when we get too close on our walks. However, in the past she was terrified of big dogs. She doesn't have a history of injuring, but she does have a history of attacking. When I got her, I didn't know she was afraid of big dogs. I took her to my grandma's for family night and my aunt always brings her pitbull. I had to put Stella in a different room and leave her there because she'd try to bite the pitbull in the face. Fortunately, he was a very friendly and laidback dog and basically acted like there was an annoying fly buzzing around his head. She's gotten much better though and doesn't attack when she's not somewhere she thinks is her territory. If she's in an unfamiliar place she cowers. She even got a bit playful with a dog that was a few inches bigger than her a few days ago.

To be honest, while the size difference is a concern, at this point I'm way more worried about Stella hurting Max than Max hurting Stella. Max hasn't once tried to bite, nip, or at all put his mouth on her this entire time. He did get a little too excited tonight and nearly trampled her as he was jumping around.

Max is hardly fazed by her barking and growling. He really just seems to think she's trying to play with him which is why I don't think I can just let them work it out. He thinks she's playing so she gets louder, so he gets rowdier and starts barking too and then it's just loud and chaotic. When she guards something, he dances backwards a bit and then comes right back. And that's how it is with everything. He bounces back and then returns immediately afterwards.

That's kind of how I was trying to do it. Like, I let her growl a bit and she bares her teeth and, if he doesn't back off, I step in. I thought that that way I could reinforce her language so that they can be able to communicate without interference in the future. Max just doesn't seem to get the hint though. He's persistent, if nothing else.

:yeah: Exactly! I remember attending a seminar where the dog trainer said it's not necessary for your dog to like every dog just like people don't like every person they meet.

For one, Stella is between 4-5 yrs. old and Max is a 5 mo. old puppy full of vim and vigor, i.e. big difference regardless of their size. Actually it sounds like they did quite well under the circumstances. I don't know how long they were together but perhaps you can start out with a small amount of play time and gradually build up to a longer period of time.

The second recommendation I have is for your dad or you to take Max on a nice long walk or play session before putting the two dogs together in the same room. That way Max can wear off some of his excess energy.

My third suggestion is to have them meet on neutral territory as opposed to your dad's house or your house. First impressions mean a lot when you introduce dogs for the first time. The other option would be for your dad and you to have them walk parallel, side by side with a fair distance between them. This way you can walk further apart or closer together depending on how they react.

Best of luck, it may take time but I think you're off to a good start. :goodluck:
I agree, they did great all things considered. I really didn't expect any better. In fact, I expected worse. With Stella's history, I was afraid it wouldn't go over well at all. But this doesn't seem like her usual fear aggression. This seems more like the interactions one would expect between adult and puppy. Her hackles haven't gone up a single time and that's usually the first sign that she's feeling uncomfortable around another dog.

The problem with Max is he always finds energy when he decides he needs it. Though Stella is much the same in that manner. I think he could benefit from some more mental stimulation though. He plays quite a lot and spends a lot of time outside, but he isn't really having to use his head much. Other than figuring out how to get to Stella through all of us.

Well, this was technically their second meeting. The first time my dad brought Max over to my house and he went across the street to an area Stella is pretty much never in. I got Stella and met them over there. Maybe not perfectly neutral, but definitely not her territory. We let them meet and there was a little bit of growling and whatnot, mostly because Stella really just wanted to see my dad and Max was in the way. We walked them down the street and then had them on the porch with us. At that time, one snap from Stella sent Max fleeing to my lap and he mostly avoided her after that. But that had been a while ago and Max was much smaller then.

We were supposed to get together with them sometime too, but of course there were always things coming up. My dad lives about an hour away, so it's not really convenient.

I do think I might try to get both of them out for a walk tomorrow so that way they can spend some time together outside of the house and in a situation where Max can't be on top of her so much.

Thanks you very much. If they don't end up getting along, that's fine as well. I've discovered that Stella can be with a bigger dog which, in all reality, was my main goal. She just needs a dog that understands and respects her.

It's just like our cats or anything else.
Young horses need to be exercised before being put in with adults because their energy will cause a rift. If someone drops their child off at your house for an hour or baby sitting after they've ran with their friends for 3 hours, that's usually good. If someone drops their child off at your house after they've been in school all day...oh boy :flail:
The way we feel about it, we don't feel that random people we meet randomly on the street are our "family" anymore than a dog (or cat) feels that some random animal that's hanging around them are suddenly their "pack". When I go into some store I don't immediately think other shoppers are my new family or new best friends. I shop, I ignore them (except for when I stupidly ram my cart into someone elses cart because I don't make a habit of paying attention to where I'm going :thumbsup:), but I don't leap all over them and jump around like a hyperactive dingbat and beg them to be my new best friend. People would find this really weird, and most adult dogs find this puppy behavior (leaping all over them, jumping around like hyperactive dingbats and begging this new strange dog to be their new best friend) equally weird.
This "pack" thing gets blown out of the water when people start assuming all dogs are their dogs pack and get upset when their dog says "nah bruh". Then, if by some miracle, the dog does a complete turn around and starts dragging you, knocking you over, and acting like a complete dork because they HAVE to see that "other dog" that's 2 miles away, it's yet another "behavior problem" that needs addressed.
I understand. I'm definitely not looking for Stella to get along with other dogs. I do want a big dog though which is the main reason I want to get to the point where she can be around and live with one. And I agree people don't really understand the whole pack thing. I think dogs were bred to rely on people, so they don't necessarily need other dogs, but they do need someone. But Stella does have behavioral problems due to her fear of other dogs. She will growl and get huffy if she sees a big dog while out on our walks. She's totally fine with dogs that are in houses or in fenced in yards, but does not like seeing other dogs on leashes.

What is the goal exactly? These two are unlikely to ever be play buddies and the puppy needs more socialization than just spending time around one other dog. I don't suggest just leaving them alone, but staying in the room with them and not constantly hovering over them.
Honestly? My main goal was just seeing if it was possible for her to coexist with a bigger dog. And I think the answer to that is yes, if it's the right dog. I want a big dog. Have for a long time. And I hadn't expected to end up with another small dog. I didn't plan on having a dog at all in the house I'm in right now. I have three cats and it's a really small house.

But my second goal was to see if they could get along because 1.Max needs socialization, 2.Stella could use some socialization to get use to other dogs, and 3. my dad really likes getting out and going places, so I was hoping to use that to my advantage and take Stella to more places. She needs to be exposed to different places and taught to behave and focus in those different places. I thought it would be a good chance to do that. If it doesn't work out, that's fine. I'll figure it out. But it would have been nice.

I definitely don't care if they're play buddies. If anything, Stella needs to learn to be more dog neutral and she does have a playmate that she gets along with much better than she does with Max. If they play, great. If not, that's fine too.

And I definitely wouldn't leave them alone. Never. Stella doesn't even give me much of a choice in the matter because she's so attached to me that she follows me everywhere and doesn't spend much time away from me. I try not to hover, but I do step in fairly quickly.
 
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